Swing is Still King




We hear this everyday. The country is divided and the key to elections is just energizing the base. How does a new voter's decision change the game if any? 

See simple maths at play in an excerpt from the book "Microtrends" by Mark H. Penn with E.Kinney Zalesine. 

Just look out the math regarding turnout for the base versus the swing voters.

Voting is based on history - the most likely votes are those who voted last time. 

Based on that, the case for winning with just the base is daunting.

Suppose you have 10 voters who voted last tine splitting their preferences 50/50. Now if one swing voter changes his or her mind, the vote become 60/40. 

If one new voter gets added to the pool, thanks to your vote to turn out the base, the vote is still 55/45. If a second voter who didn't vote last tine is chauffeured to the polls, you are now 50/50 as you have 6 out of 12. 

In other words, it takes two new voters to overcome one voter who has changed his mind and three new voters to overcome his defection. 

In almost all cases, it is almost more strategic to get one voter on the edge to switch opinions than it is to bring two or three new voters to the polls.

There you go ..about how to effectively target not just the masses but almost only those sitting on the fence.